Report of the Cabinet Member for Commercial and Operations
The Cabinet Member, Commercial and Operations presented the Annual Health and Safety Report for 2019/20. The reported highlighted key areas of focus and looked back on the Council’s performance during the year.
In highlighting the decrease in accidents, the Cabinet Member stated that the target number of accidents should be zero. He did, however, recognise that much of the work that was carried out by the Council, specifically referring to refuse collection, environmental health, street scene and cleaning, and leisure centres, was high risk. He outlined the importance of continually looking for improvements in safety and ways of minimising risk. This was particularly pertinent where new activities were introduced.
The Cabinet Member stated that significant challenges had needed to be overcome as a result of the Covid-19 response period, with specific reference made to the continuation of waste collection services through the pandemic. Challenges around service delivery had been overcome by reviewing guidance, considering how services worked and carrying out robust risk assessments.
The report included a number of charts and tables, which set out information regarding risk areas and accidents, both in terms of volume and category. A further table within the report set out accidents that had to be reported under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations (RIDDOR). Numbers in respect of one incident were high as the same incident affected 16 individuals. The table also captured a small number of other incidents.
The Cabinet Member for Commercial and Operations concluded by stating that he believed the Council was making good progress and the report reflected the Council’s good performance in reducing risks for its employees, while accepting that there was still more to be done.
In response to a question that was raised, Members were given assurance that all of the guidance that was due to be reviewed had been. The updated documents were available to be viewed on the health and safety page.
Committee members were interested in the frequency of refresher training. This was dependent on activity; for example, waste operatives were required to undergo initial training, together with a programme of ongoing training. Fire and display screen equipment training was carried out annually, while training for fire wardens and first aiders was refreshed on a three-yearly basis. Service-specific requirements around refresher training were set out in risk assessments, by which services were bound.
Further detail was requested about those accidents that were categorised as other; examples were given.
Greater detail to be provided to Members of accidents categorised as “other” and for these accidents to be listed in future versions of the Health and Safety Annual Report.
A request was also made for additional information in respect of the accidents recorded at leisure centres. The Cabinet Member, Commercial and Operations agreed to the inclusion of a table providing additional information in future reports.
Future versions of the Health and Safety Annual Report should include a table setting out additional information relating to accidents that had occurred in the leisure centres.